LAHORE: PML-N is fielding Hamza Shehbaz as the leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly with the approval of Nawaz Sharif, knowledgeable sources in the party told this correspondent on Friday.
Sources said that the decision to consider Hamza Shehbaz for the post was formally taken in the meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee last week.
The proposal to pitch Hamza as the opposition leader in Punjab was moved by the party’s President Shehbaz Sharif and was approved by the Nawaz Sharif at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
Source insisted that Nawaz Sharif had approved the decision to nominate Hamza Shehbaz as the leader of the opposition in the Punjab.
They further maintained that the party was no longer eyeing the Chief Minister’s post.
PML-N, they said, was in no position to get its speaker, deputy speaker or chief minister elected.
At best, they said, PML-N expected to get between 129 and 135 votes.
More than 135 votes in favor of PML-N would be a surprise, they said.
On the other hand, PTI was in a comfortable position to form its government in the Punjab.
According to sources inside PML-N, Hamza Shehbaz was the “best choice the party had in Punjab” and he could give PTI a tough time
“He has the potential to emerge as Shehbaz Sharif’s true successor.”
Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that he did not know anything about the meeting between Nawaz and Shehbaz or any decision made during that meeting.
He, however, said that he supported the idea of fielding Hamza Shehbaz as the leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly.
According to him, nominating someone as the opposition leader did not mean that he would definitely secure the post.
He said that PML-N was yet to decide who to field as the speaker, deputy speaker and the chief minister in Punjab.
Spokesperson for the PML-N Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the party would decide about its nominees in Punjab o n Saturday (today).
The party, she said, had convened a meeting of the party’s women parliamentarians on Saturday in Lahore, adding that several members of the party’s Central Executive Committee members would also participate in the meeting.